Forgiveness is a word that is often frowned upon and dismissed as something that only nice people or religious people do or more importantly can do.
People who have been victimised through abuse, violent attack, rape, family murder, acid attack, knife and gun crime, drunken driver fatalities makes it near impossible for some people to forgive those that have trespassed against them especially when an innocent party experiences life changing and devastating suffering.
To suggest to someone for them to forgive another’s destructive or reckless actions or indirect negligence can evoke anger and controversy.
Trying to forgive someone who hurt you is very difficult and much easier said than done by those who haven’t been hurt like you?
To think others can advise those in extreme pain who are at the tail end of someone’s harmful actions is often hopeless.
People who have a faith or belief in a divine or who are active in a religious practice will find it much easier than those who do not have a faith as forgiveness is a high part in many religious practices.
After we have been hurt by others psychologically speaking, we may need to hold on to resentment and bitterness, hate and anger as these states during times of recovery can actually assist us or even empower us whilst at the same time hold us in a bad place of negativity which keeps taking us around in circles.
Long-term anger and hate against someone who has caused us suffering can be harmful to our health both mentally and physically and most rational minded people would agree with that due to the depth of the negativity that can be generated against the person who has harmed us.
Initially after we’ve been hurt we develop many negative emotions and bad thoughts towards that person or group of people and it can be empowering and even assist us to heal in our own negative and suffering way.
Sometimes there is logic in the illogical and vice versa.
Many people who are outside of any religious practice such as atheists might not know about or appreciate what forgiveness actually means.
What are the reasons that stop us from forgiving?
Forgiveness conjures up a sense that we are in some way exonerating or liberating our enemy from any blame or justice that they are due.
Forgiveness also leaves us with the sense that we are in some way reducing the severity or trauma that the other person has caused us.
Forgiveness does not mean we are naive, simpleminded or foolish to let our attacker or enemy off scot-free.
Ask any therapist!
There are many people who are searching the Internet or reading books looking for meaning and purpose after the trauma seeking for ways to heal or recover from the terrible state of mind they are now experiencing on a daily basis which can include PTSD, fear and anxiety, rage, anger to depression and even fantasies of punishing and hurting those who did them harm.
Due to the powerful feelings that can build up inside a person they try to find a solution to the way they are feeling and look at forgiveness and what that means.
Forgiveness is a healing process for you the victim, you the sufferer of another’s harmful actions.
It is possible to for some to completely forgive from a therapeutic and healing point of view and still seek justice and see legal punishments delivered to those who have committed a bad deed against you without feeling anger or hatred but to know their punishment or justice is in some way an educational and life changing event which can result in them changing or improving as a person.
Forgiveness is a slow healing therapeutic process.
It would be fair to say that most people who have in some way found a way to forgive others still haven’t fully forgiven them but found a halfway meeting point in themselves between the destructive and damaging states of mind that sufferers have to live with which may include a swinging backwards and forwards process of letting go some days.
If you’ve been harmed or abused by another the number one priority is to forgive for your own mental health and emotional well-being which includes healing and recovery to some extent.
Living with hatred and anger, resentment and bitterness can eat away at a person and cause ongoing damage to both the body and mind and that’s not fair to you if you have been victimised simply because your attacker or enemy continues to hurt you even long after the event.
Forgiveness is a way of letting go of the effects of their actions that you are now generating within yourself over and over on a daily basis.
Forgiveness is the letting go of the destructive damage you are doing to yourself because of them.
Forgiveness is cleaning up the mess they have caused in your mind months or years after their actions traumatised you.
Forgiveness is not forgetting what others have done to you but it is letting go of the after-effects they have had in your mind and on your emotions.
By carrying powerful negative emotions around with you each day leads you to continue being victimised or harmed by that person even if they are now long gone.
No one is saying let go now, for most people that is impossible. We just let go a little tiny bit today, and a little bit next week. Just a little tiny bit today!
If you don’t do it now, when will you?
You have to let go of a little bit and only you the victim can do this.
Talking about your feelings to the right people is a good start. Opening up and letting out and thoughts and feelings with others in a group very powerful, dynamic and therapeutic.
Forgiveness is a healing process for you!
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